Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons, Michael Bushong, Ashley Stephenson

Blog Feed Post

An Update On DoD’s Ambitious Joint Information Environment

By

The Department of Defense and its key Information Technology players (including DISA and leadership at OSD/DoD CIO) have done a tremendous job in keeping the community informed on a new, ambitious approach to enterprise IT in DoD called the Joint Information Environment.  They have presented at industry days, spoken at major conferences, and even made official press releases.  All that is very helpful for the community who seeks to serve these important national missions.

If you are in the IT industry and believe you have capabilities that can contribute to this important national program, our first recommendation is that you start with the overview provided by DoD’s Dave DeVries in a 3 October press release. We copy that press release below for your information:

Official Describes Joint Information Environment

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2012 – The Defense Department is working to improve its ability to share information, not just between the services, but also with its industry partners and other government agencies, the Pentagon’s deputy chief information officer for information enterprise said Sept. 28.

The planned Joint Information Environment is a central piece of the information-sharing solution, Dave DeVries said.

“If you think about it, everything we do is about sharing information, whether it be information about a known threat out there or how the forces are arrayed and how they’re … performing.”

Information is meaningless unless it is delivered into the hands of those who need it. And because there are so many separate networks, information sharing isn’t as efficient as it could be, he said.

The Joint Information Environment will take all of those separate networks and collect them into a shared architecture, DeVries said, noting that he expects full capability to be realized between 2016 and 2020.

To understand the significance of the Joint Information Environment, it’s important to understand DOD’s mission, DeVries said.

“Ultimately, it is to fight and win the nation’s wars, but also to maintain the peace, [and] that involves sharing information,” he said. “In order to do that more efficiently and effectively, we’ve got to change how we procure and lash together our information technologies so we can enable better and more secure information sharing.”

DOD is working together with industry to procure and configure information technologies in a more secure fashion, DeVries said.

When it’s complete, he added, the Joint Information Environment will enable every user to get onto an approved device, anywhere they are — at home, at work or on the move — and get the information they need in a secure, reliable fashion.

Significant progress already has been made, he said, and the average user may have noticed some changes as the services work to simplify their networks.

The services will continue to support their own networks, under the aegis of the Defense Information Systems Agency, DeVries said. The Joint Information Environment will eliminate redundancies in those networks, however. For example, instead of operating a parallel Army-only network for Army units that are stationed at a predominantly Air Force joint base, the Air Force will operate a single shared network for all personnel assigned to the base.

Developing the Joint Information Environment also involves moving more toward enterprise –- that is, DOD-wide — services rather than every component buying, operating and maintaining their own services, he said.

“For example, rather than having every command operate their own email system, today the services have been combining those into a more efficient way of offering those things up at the service level,” DeVries said.

The enterprise email system, spearheaded by the Army, currently supports more than 550,000 users, he said. The Defense Department intends to develop that system further by eventually providing every DOD user with an email address that is theirs regardless of command or location.

Ultimately, DOD users will have access to their email anywhere in the world, on any network operated by a DOD agency, he said.

These efficiency efforts eventually will allow DOD to reduce the number of data centers over eight to 10 years, from 1,500 to about 250, he said. Data centers house computer systems, power supplies and other equipment and applications required for the operation of information technologies.

Core data centers, operated by the services and DISA to a known standard with a common rate structure, would replace the old data centers, DeVries said.

The department also will move toward cloud computing, he said, which offers great efficiencies not only in hardware and software, but also in data sharing.

“We have just published our cloud strategy,” DeVries said, “and the services are moving rapidly toward moving their applications and systems to the cloud.”

The Joint Information Environment will provide full-spectrum support to the department in the operation, procurement and maintenance of information technology systems, from the foxhole to the Pentagon, he said.

“It is not a new program of record. It is not a turn-key solution. It is a compilation of what the services and agencies have under way today to modernize and make more efficient their information technology in both systems and applications,” DeVries said.

For more see: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=118092

Gourley Comment: Some of the things I read into the above are more need for interoperable solutions (that has always been a requirement, but too frequently just gets lip service), enhanced ability to move data to mobile users, better ways to secure information, a better focus on users, and a need for an architecture that treats the entire enterprise as a platform to be built upon.

Companies that should take note include: Cleversafe (for highly reliable/economical/safe data storage and retrieval), Fixmo (for an ability to use mobile devices with enterprise info and apps), MarkLogic (to enable use of all your data), Thetus (for model-enabled analysis in the enterprise), Terracotta (for very large in-memory components required to make the JIE responsive to needs), and Recorded Future (for anticipating future change).  All those firms should be beating a path to the door of decision makers mapping out the future JIE. Now is your chance to help the country do this right.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
File sync and share. Endpoint protection. Both are massive opportunities for today’s enterprise thanks to their business benefits and widespread user appeal. But one size does not fit all, especially user-adopted consumer technologies. Organizations must apply the right enterprise-ready tool for the job in order to properly manage and protect endpoint data. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Michael Bachman, Senior Enterprise Systems Architect at Code42, he will discuss how the synergy of an enterprise platform – where sync/share and endpoint protection converge – delivers incredible value for the business.
Simply defined the SDDC promises that you’ll be able to treat “all” of your IT infrastructure as if it’s completely malleable. That there are no restrictions to how you can use and assign everything from border controls to VM size as long as you stay within the technical capabilities of the devices. The promise is great, but the reality is still a dream for the majority of enterprises. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, EVP, Data Center Tech, at SUPERNAP, will cover where and how a business might benefit from SDDC and also why they should or shouldn’t attempt to adopt today.
Today, developers and business units are leading the charge to cloud computing. The primary driver: faster access to computing resources by using the cloud's automated infrastructure provisioning. However, fast access to infrastructure exposes the next friction point: creating, delivering, and operating applications much faster. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Bernard Golden, VP of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss why solving the next friction point is critical for true cloud computing success and how developers and business units can leverage service catalogs, frameworks, and DevOps to achieve the true goal of IT: delivering increased business value through applications.
APIs came about to help companies create and manage their digital ecosystem, enabling them not only to reach more customers through more devices, but also create a large supporting ecosystem of developers and partners. While Facebook, Twitter and Netflix were the early adopters of APIs, large enterprises have been quick to embrace the concept of APIs and have been leveraging APIs as a connective tissue that powers all interactions between their customers, partners and employees. As enterprises embrace APIs, some very specific Enterprise API Adoption patterns and best practices have started emerging. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will talk about the most common enterprise API patterns and will discuss how enterprises can successfully launch an API program.
MapDB is an Apache-licensed open source database specifically designed for Java developers. The library uses the standard Java Collections API, making it totally natural for Java developers to use and adopt, while scaling database size from GBs to TBs. MapDB is very fast and supports an agile approach to data, allowing developers to construct flexible schemas to exactly match application needs and tune performance, durability and caching for specific requirements.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.